June 13, 2006

Music festival offers expanded jazz performances

by Sun Min

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Music lovers of all ages will swing to all that jazz during the second annual Southern Illinois Music Festival, which started June 11 and continues through July 4.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale's School of Music and the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra are sponsoring more than 40 concerts, including several jazz performances that will feature local artists.

"We expanded the Southern Illinois Music Festival's jazz offerings this year from one event to eight events because we have a terrific ensemble in residence, the New Arts Jazztet," said Edward M. Benyas, artistic director of the festival. "It provides a wonderful added dimension to the classical art music of the festival."

The New Arts Jazztet has been a mainstay on the Southern Illinois jazz scene for more than 20 years. During this year's festival, the group will perform at concerts in Cairo, Carbondale and Harrisburg. Members include Bob Allison on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tyler Kuebler on saxophone, Mel Goot on piano, Phil Brown on bass, Ron Coulter on drums and Tom Hensold on percussions. The members have experience sharing the stage with some of the greatest jazz geniuses of our time.

Allison, an associate professor of trumpet and jazz studies at SIUC, has performed with Stanley Clarke, Cal Collins, Willie Thomas and James Williams.

Kuebler, an assistant professor of saxophone and music theory at SIUC, has performed with Maynard Ferguson, Julio Iglesias, Paul Anka, Slide Hampton and Rosemary Clooney. "I am very excited to be involved with bringing great jazz music to the Southern Illinois region," said Kuebler. "Jazz is America's musical contribution to the world and the Southern Illinois Music Festival is a great opportunity to showcase the thriving jazz tradition to our community."

Self-taught pianist Goot has performed at national and international music festivals. He also played back-up for Sammy Davis, Jr., Jerry Lewis and Steve Allen.

Brown, an associate professor of double bass and jazz studies at SIUC, has performed with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Lockjaw Davis. Brown has composed dozens of pieces for the New Arts Jazztet.

Coulter, an instructor of percussion studies at SIUC, has toured internationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Hensold's performing credits encompass a variety of styles including classical, jazz, traditional Afro-Cuban, rock and solo percussion for modern dance. He has played at venues in Colorado, Chicago, and across Illinois.

"Audiences throughout Southern Illinois will be able to experience firsthand the vitality and depth of jazz music," said Kuebler. "American jazz music, coupled with the rich history of European classical music, will come together in the Southern Illinois Music Festival to provide our community with a truly unique musical experience."

Children will also get exposure to jazz during the free "Jive with Jazz" concerts that will be held in Cairo, Carbondale, Harrisburg and Murphysboro. They are just some of the music festival's educational outreach performances.

In addition to SIUC, major sponsors of the Southern Illinois Music Festival include the Illinois Arts Council, the city of Carbondale, The Southern Illinoisan, WSIL-TV, WSIU, the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra Patrons Committee, and the Harrison, Hastings and Garwin family foundations.


You can catch the jazz artists at the following Southern Illinois Music Festival events:


Jive with Jazz (ages 2-10)

2 p.m., Southeastern Illinois College, Room B126, Harrisburg


New Arts Jazztet

7:30 p.m., Southeastern Illinois College, Room B126, Harrisburg

$6 adults, $3 children and seniors


Jive with Jazz (ages 2-10)

10 a.m., Murphysboro Youth and Recreation Center, 1818 Walnut St., Murphysboro



Music for Summer Solstice

8 p.m., Carbondale Town Square

String chamber music and jazz



New Arts Jazztet

7:30 p.m., Shryock Auditorium, SIUC

$9.50 adults, $6.50 children and seniors


Jive with Jazz (ages 2-10)

10 a.m., Eurma Hayes Center, 441 E. Willow, Carbondale



Jive with Jazz (ages 2-10)

2 p.m., Cairo Public Library


7:30 p.m., New Arts Jazztet

Halliday Plaza, Cairo


The majority of the festival concerts are free. Tickets for the remaining events are available on the day of the performance at the respective venue or through Ticketmaster by calling 866/646-8849 or going online at www.ticketmaster.com.

A complete schedule of the Southern Illinois Music Festival is available at www.SIFest.com. For more information, call 618/53-MUSIC.

Expanding cultural outreach efforts is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.